A joint team of armed Police and Galamstop, an anti galamsey taskforce numbering about 50 have stormed Akyem Hemang Community in the Fanteakwa south district of the Eastern Region following clashes between a mining company- Dome community mining, a small scale mining firm, and agitating residents protesting mining at the river banks of birim river.
The residents blocked the company from carting an excavator through the community to their mining site at Dome community forcing the company to reportedly unleash some thugs to also block the main road leading to the community.
The action infuriated the already incensed residents of Akyem Hemang who pounced on the thugs to beat them up and attempted to set fire into the hijacked excavator.
This has heightened tension in the community as both faction prepares to square it off but the swift intervention by armed Police officer patrolling the community has minimized the tension according to the Assembly Member, for Hemang community ,Johnson Appiah.
Akyem Hemeng recently came into the news after Okyenhene Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin destooled their chief -Prof.Mirikissi Apori Atta. The destooled Chief has over the years taken entrenched position against illegal mining in the area . The Chief has been causing arrest of recalcitrants miners ostensibly to protect the environment and the Birim River.
For instance in January 2019, the Inter Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) taskforce invaded mining site of Nawara mining Company at Akyem Nsuapemso in the Fanteakwa South District of the Eastern Region and set ablaze four excavators and pumping machines, and arrested some workers following continues complaint from the the Chief of Akyem Hemang that the Company has been mining in the Birim River .
In an interview with Kasapa News, Osabarima Prof. Mirikissi Apori Atta told Starr News “if you have a mining permit given by the Minerals Commission,you cannot mine the Birim River unless you have permit from Water resources.No buffer zone should be mined on the other side of the river and Worse still you cannot go on to destroy my sacred groove without my knowledge and Consent as if I am a foolish man.No! and they do it with impunity.There are lots of reports written to Water Resources,the Ministry and they still continue so we cannot allow ourselves to be treated underdogs.People have to sit up in this country or the worse will happen.We cannot allow any foolish guy to come from his country and decide to destroy our sacred groove”.
Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin on Monday 1st July 2019 at the Ofori Panin Fie, Kyebi announced the destoolment of the Chief of Hemang Osabarima Professor Mirikissi Apori Atta on grounds of uncustomary conduct and harassment of the people of Dome and Gyampomani and his unlawful claim of ownership of lands in the two villages.
The Akyem Abuakwa State Secretary D.M Ofori Atta explained further in a statement that the chief blatantly disregarded for custom, disrespected summons to appear before the Akyem Abuakwa State Council questioning the jurisdiction of the Kyebi Executive Council to determine matters concerning Hemang lands. – Kojo Ansah